Maine Town to Repair ‘Kind of Embarrassing,' Worn Out Sidewalks

The brick walkways in Brunswick have numerous visible holes that have drawn the ire of local groups, residents and businesses

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A Maine town may finally be done paving over a problem.

Over the past several years, Brunswick, the roughly 20,000-person community that is home to Bowdoin College, has been working on a plan to rehabilitate its worn out downtown sidewalks.

The brick walkways have numerous visible holes that have drawn the ire of local groups, residents and businesses.

But next week, town leaders are expected to vote on moving forward with one of two repair plans. One would replace a significant part of the worn-out area with new brick for $4.25 million. The other would replace that area using both brick and cement for $3.25 million.

"Aesthetically, we just need it to look better," said Debora King, the executive director of the Brunswick Downtown Association, also noting that her number one concern with the current sidewalks is safety.

During a Tuesday interview with NECN/NBC10 Boston, King explained that she is hoping for action on one of the plans because waiting may mean an eventual repair will cost more as prices rise.

She also believes that the present state of the sidewalks does not help attract people to Brunswick.

"We have thousands and thousands of visitors to our community, especially during the summer," she said.

Leslie Beattie, owner of The Mix, an art supply store on Maine Street, says she has spray-painted some of the damaged areas of sidewalk outside her shop over the past two years.

She agrees with King that it is in the best interest of Brunswick to get the repairs made sooner rather than later.

"It’s really kind of embarrassing," she said of the worn-out bricks, adding that she understood some people in the community might have concerns about costs to taxpayers and may disagree with her.

King said she was hopeful that every program available to minimize the impact on local tax bills will be utilized.

Brunswick town councilors are expected to take up the sidewalk issue again on Monday, December 5.

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